90% of APAC warehouse operators investing in nextgen automation tech
The Zebra Technologies survey collected feedback from 1,500+ warehouse decision-makers and associates around the world.
Zebra Technologies Corporation conducted a new global warehousing vision study to explore the trends and sentiments driving operational decisions and spend in warehouses.
"The findings released today deliver encouraging news: warehouse operators are making significant investments to better fulfill the needs of both customers and workers and make it easier to fill open jobs," reads the release.
Conducted in January and February 2022, the survey collected feedback from more than 1,500 warehouse decision-makers and associates around the world. In Asia-Pacific (APAC), the markets surveyed for the study are India, Australia, China, Japan, and Singapore.
Nine in 10 APAC decision-makers (including India) agree machine vision and/or fixed industrial scanning technology in key areas would save time and eliminate errors, even though only one-quarter are currently using them.
Nearly nine in 10 warehouse operators globally agree they must implement new technology to be competitive in the on-demand economy, with 80 percent confirming the pandemic has prompted them to evolve and modernize more quickly. Those in the APAC region (including India) feel the pressure to modernize almost as much as the others around the world, with about three-quarters of APAC decision-makers (including India) saying the pandemic has prompted them to make changes.
They are turning their focus and spending most heavily toward technologies that support workforce augmentation and workflow automation. For example, more than nine in 10 operators in all regions, including APAC, indicate they will increase the use of wearables, mobile printers and rugged tablets over the next few years, along with mobile dimensioning software that automates parcel and carton measurements. In addition, 27% of warehouse operators globally and in APAC (including India) have already deployed some form of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) today. Within five years, that number is expected to grow to 92% in APAC (including India) and 90% worldwide.
"The disruptions by recent world events brought to fore the importance of a resilient, flexible supply chain," said Aik Jin, Tan, APAC vertical solutions lead for manufacturing, machine vision/fixed industrial scanning, Zebra Technologies. "Encouragingly, APAC warehouse operators (including India) are taking proactive action, with our study revealing 84% of them are now more comfortable integrating new technologies to bolster their operations and infrastructure."
Warehouse associates are also becoming more comfortable with their employers' use of advanced technologies. Less than half (45%) globally say their employers have increased wages or offered bonuses amid labor constraints, yet most (82%) feel positively impacted by the situation. This trend continues in APAC (including India), where nine in 10 warehouse associates report a positive outlook despite only 34% reporting that employers increased renumeration. Employers are improving work conditions in other ways, such as giving them more technology to use on the job and leveraging technology to create more flexible work shifts. In fact, more than nine in 10 warehouse associates around the world agree on some level that technology advancements will make the warehouse environment more attractive to workers, even in times like these when supply chains are strained, demand is surging, and there is increasing pressure to meet tighter deadlines.